Since November 2017, Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) in California has been using a Multihog MX 120 tractor with a Pronovost snowblower and Metal Pless angle blade for winter service on the area’s trails.
Ralph Turner, Senior Operations Specialist with TCPUD, has already put over 400 hours on the Multihog in his first winter season. The main purpose of the Multihog is snow blowing, and depending on the season’s weather, the scale of winter
operations can vary, as Ralph explains: “Once it snows, we have 3.5 miles (5.5 km) of trails to clear, but it can be more if it’s a drought year – in that case we have to keep up to 10 miles (16 km) open. To have 5 feet of snow by January is totally normal.”
The Multihog is a big change for TCPUD, who did not own any winter machinery
previously, apart from a small skid steer with a bucket. They cleared a small amount of snow on the sidewalks manually, but not on the trails.
As an operator, Ralph has first-hand experience of the benefits the Multihog MX has brought to Tahoe: “We had demos of two other equipment brands along with the Multihog, and all of our operators were in agreement that the MX was easier to
operate, more comfortable and by far the best. It was also the best size for what we need to do here in Tahoe.”
When asked what he likes best about the MX, Ralph is quick to answer: “It’s a hydraulic tractor running a big snowblower. In spring lots of our trails sit under 12 feet of snow, and that pressure would definitely break the shaft on a PTO tractor. Once the snow melts to around 5ft, we get our Multihog in there. At that point the snow is super dense, icy and solid; it’s pretty hard to shift, but it’s no problem for the MX. This tractor is really, really good – it’s the best thing I’ve seen around here, and it’s also the quickest.”
Having known local Multihog dealer, Alpine Smith Inc., for several years, TCPUD knew they wanted to work with them due to their excellent after-sales support.
Outside of the winter season, TCPUD rents a boom mower for the MX to cut verges and hedges in the summer. The boom mower replaces handheld trimmers, and Ralph mentions that the new method is “much safer and way better.” A vacuum sweeper has also been ordered to assist with picking up sand spread on the trails and in parking lots during winter seasons, ensuring the MX is working all year round.